Bohemian design is characterized primarily by a lack of concrete structure. While the architectural elements and furniture in your home will add some structure, in boho design, the other elements and textiles you add to the home work to soften that natural structure and bring a natural softness to the space.
The great thing about the bohemian design style is that the designer is at the center of all of the choices made. Boho designs are all about creating a space that you personally love with lots of elements that speak to you. And while there are certainly boho elements and design tips and tricks you can follow, this is one design style where you can break lots of rules.
Calling All Colors
Jewel tones are widely associated with bohemian design, and more often than not, there are a lot of those jewel tones throughout the space. Boho is colorful and saturated. And while we have seen a more paired-down version of this style a time or two, if you are looking for a traditional bohemian vibe, color is your friend.
In more recent years, many boho designs have foregone the traditional bohemian color palette and opted for orange, cream, and brown tones. This new-wave bohemian design color scheme still creates a space that feels inherently boho despite having very few traditional boho colors.
It just goes to show you that if you want to switch all of your colors in this design trend, chances are you can and it will totally work.
M is for Maximize
Bohemian design is anything but minimal. Considered one of the more maximal design styles, boho lets you layer on layer on layer on layer. Originating in Paris in the 19th century, this design style was a favorite of artists, writers, and creators who wanted to express themselves in their space — who wanted to see a reflection of what they loved in their home design. To this group, creativity was the most important thing, which means their homes became the canvas for their creativity and vision.
You can take the maximalism in your home to whatever level you’d like. Maximal doesn’t have to mean cluttered or constricting. You can add maximalism to your home by making sure you don’t have blank walls or empty surfaces that could handle design or decor.
Bohemian design has room for floating shelves, but to make them boho, you need to decorate them to the max. Throw out all of the rules you’ve heard about shelf decor and add plants, decor, and any and every boho element to them. Because bohemian style uses lots of saturated, deep jewel tones we recommend using dark-stained wood shelves, such as walnut floating shelves or stained alder floating shelves. The shelves in a dark wood color will help balance the colors and tones in your space by bringing more depth to your walls.
We recommend shopping for boho shelf decor at thrift stores. These treasure troves are full of boho decor that you can easily personalize or upcycle so that it looks like it was made for your bohemian custom floating shelves.
Textiles are very important to achieving a bohemian design. Couches and chairs, already soft and luxe, are layered with lots of blankets. The blankets have varying patterns, materials, and textures to give the room a gathered feel. In a boho space, you’ll also likely find textiles on the wall. Tapestries with mandala designs or a piece of art the designer loves are sure to dot a few walls, and curtains are a must. Woven wall hangings are also a staple. And peacock green curtains with a subtle texture are pretty much the epitome of boho textile design.
If you’re having a hard time getting the bohemian vision in a fresh, modern way head to Target. The Opalhouse collection is accessible bohemian elements that work as a great starting point or supplement for your space.
Bohemian design thrives on textures. Think wicker, rattan, wood, velvet, and woven textiles. Anywhere where you can add textures, do so. Add metal elements to the texture collection as well focusing on brass and gold elements. This is the most important element of bohemian design because it ties everything together and gives your space an intentionally collected feel.
Boho elements that add lots of texture include baskets (all the baskets), woven chairs and side tables, wicker decor items, natural rocks and crystals, woven wall art, rugs layered on more rugs, plush pillows, colored crystal trinket dishes, floor poufs, woven blinds, velvet fabrics, and anything that looks like it would belong in Professor Trelawney’s office.
Cut the Convention
There is nothing conventional about true bohemian design. Boho design takes lots of traditional elements and turns them on their head a little, it’s a great place to get creative. Feel free to combine elements from lots of other design styles and then add a bright paint color or a new ratan element to give it the boho treatment.
If you want more inspiration for your boho space, we recommend you start by looking at historical boho spaces and Persian designs online. And then we recommend that you get out and get creative. No matter how you like to express yourself, find elements of that passion to incorporate into your space. That’s what’s going to help you cut convention and bring the boho.
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